Match Preview: Arsenal U23s v Rovers U23s

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Rovers U23s will look to continue their impressive season in the Premier League 2 with a positive result against Arsenal U23s this evening.

Billy Barr’s side picked up another three points on Monday afternoon as goals from Sam Burns (x2), Joe Nolan, Louie Annesley and Sam Durrant helped Rovers dispatch struggling Southampton 5-1.

However, despite Arsenal’s lowly position in the PL2 table, Rovers will be aware of the ability the young Gunners possess as they ran out as 6-0 winners in the reverse fixture – the heaviest defeat this season by some distance for Rovers U23s.

The match will take place at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park, with kick off at 7pm.

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The Opposition

Managed by former Arsenal assistant Steve Bould, the young Gunners have struggled for consistency this season. Their aforementioned 6-0 victory over Rovers earlier this season was the start of a five-match winning run, which also included a 5-0 victory over Brighton.

However, since then, Arsenal are without a win in six matches, and drew 2-2 with Southampton U23s last time out.

Forward Folarin Balogun has seven goals so far this season, leading the Gunners’ scoring charts, and scored a hat-trick against Rovers last season.

Team News

Billy Barr will be able to welcome Sam Barnes back to the fold, with the defender completing his one-match suspension following his dismissal in the U23s’ draw away to Tottenham last month.

Rovers remain without Luke Brennan who is out with a hamstring injury. Also, Tom White’s 28-day loan spell with Hartlepool United has officially ended, but he is remaining with the National League side and an extension is expected to be announced in the coming days.

Predictions

Predicted XI: Eastham, Pike, Barnes, Annesley, Cirino, Garrett, Whitehall, Nolan, Durrant, McBride, Burns

The return from suspension for captain Sam Barnes will be a big boost for Rovers, and they will be out to get revenge following the disappointing thrashing they received from the Gunners earlier this season.

Rovers are in confident form and were a class above the Southampton team they faced on Monday, and I’m expecting Billy Barr’s side to pick up another three points.

Prediction: Arsenal U23s 1-3 Rovers U23s

Follow our account dedicated to Rovers’ U23 and U18 sides. All the latest updates, news and match content will be posted there before anywhere else so make sure you’re following: @academy_rovers.

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